Do you think the score was a bit harsh?
It was never a 4-1. At 2-1 we were incredibly lucky and I’m not sure how we didn’t score. I don’t know how whoever hit the post and the crossbar didn’t come in. He falls on Mattie and there is not enough rhythm on the ball. The last two goals is me, we were down 2-1 and we had two great chances, so you just try to change that and go for it, without losing anything. I didn’t think there was much in the game to be honest. They had a little more ball, but I didn’t think there was a lot. We can’t give away a goal as quickly as we have, especially from a corner and they are the best in the league from corners, the stats show you. We had enough bodies in and around, so it’s a big moment in the game. They just had a bit more quality than us between the two boxes.
So, overall, are you satisfied with the performance of your team?
We went to two really tough places and we should have gotten more out of them than we got. It’s part of learning, but like I said before, in the first half of the season we got to places like this and we were absolutely played out of the park. I may be biased, but that certainly didn’t happen today.
At 2-1, the best chance of all has presented itself to you. Did you think you were going to get anything then?
It’s the frustration, because I think if we score again it’s a different place. If we bring them back to 2-2 with 20 minutes remaining, the atmosphere is a little different. We didn’t, and then some quality stuff from them as we went. I told the players not to look at the score because it wasn’t 4-1.
The fact that you haven’t scored, is it bad luck, a bad finish or a good goalkeeper?
Probably a bit of everything. You need a bit of luck and when the ball bounces in the box, you have to finish it. We need the one who was an incredible strike, almost knocked the goal out of bounds, but even if he doesn’t go in, he doesn’t quite fall for one of our guys. Probably an accumulation of all these things.
What did you say to the players at half-time?
We were a little too slow. The terrain is difficult, but we were too slow. We played a bit better through them in the second half. Show a little more conviction. You can’t expect to win in a place like this, you have to go get it. We took the lead and had a 15-20 minute period where we were way over and created some good chances but we couldn’t have that chance and they were always going to come back because they had good players.
Two tough away games this week, do you feel like you’ve given a good enough image of yourself?
Yes. I’d like to think that even Sheffield Wednesday fans won’t think ‘they were in League Two last year and they were useless’ even if it was 4-1. We did well, without being brilliant, but I think we did enough not to lose by three goals, let’s put it that way.
You picked up Kion Etete during the last 15 minutes. How close is he to full physical fitness?
Ask Tottenham because we were told we could play him for 15 minutes, that’s why he did. I hope it is now and he will receive a full week of training and be available. It was good to bring him in, we started in 4-3-3, which we rarely do and we conceded two goals. We just thought we were going to roll the dice and it clearly didn’t work out.
Why did Charlie Colkett miss out?
He felt his calf last week, so he was unavailable. Maybe three or four weeks. It’s unfortunate for him and there was a good chance he played today because he was good against Plymouth. The life of football, it goes in cycles, we come in, we go out.
Do you think you’ve been particularly unlucky with soft tissue injuries this season?
Yeah, that’s something we’ll look at at the end of the season, not something just yet. We will look at the injury patterns and the physios will take care of that. It drives them crazy and they take it as a personal insult, so that’s something we’ll have to look into.
Have you seen enough Charlie Colkett to be able to make a decision on him for next season?
It’s not a conversation I’m ready to have right now. We will sit down at the end of the season because it’s not just us. He has to want to stay and fit into a salary structure, so there are a lot more moving parts than us deciding whether we want to or not.
With Kion Etete, is it difficult to be dictated by another club?
He’s their player and they’re a Premier League club, so they’re totally within their rights to do whatever they want with their trump card. If it was ours, we would make the decision, but it’s not. You can’t complain or moan. It’s frustrating, because he’s always been very successful, but it’s something we don’t control.
You went to the memorial before the game. How did it happen?
Apparently it was always done. Callum Wright came in yesterday and asked if there was anything he could do. He was not born, but he grew up being from Liverpool. It was a good idea that the whole club went to do something. The nicest thing was that it wasn’t just a day for Cheltenham. I thought we also gave a good image of ourselves.
Did you have a moment of quiet reflection before the game?
Yes, I always do. I was sitting right there when it happened, so it’s still kind of weird. I thought it was a good football game today.
You’re still 12th, with Accrington out next week who’s just below you, so anything to stay in the top half?
Yes, it’s tighter with the other results, but we’re playing all the teams around us, like Accrington, Lincoln, Cambridge, so there’s definitely something to play for. We’ve lost the last two games, but there’s no way you look at the performance and think they haven’t tried, or think the season is over now. It’s definitely something that didn’t happen.
Sheffield Wednesday shouldn’t really be in Ligue 1, should they?
They’re there for a reason, but that’s not for me to say. You look at this place, you look at the parking lot when you come in, our guys were looking longingly at their cars, but they’re where they are and it shows the progress we’ve made that we’re going to face a team like this.